Ajijic the heart of life on the shores of Lake Chapala, Mexico.
In Ajijic, Mexico there is so much to see and do! Here you will discover a warm and inviting place of tranquility, fragrance, music and color, special friendships and renewed energy. You’ll find yourself smiling more, laughing harder, and you will feel so fortunate to be at home here, even for just a little while.
Lake Chapala sits at an elevation of 1,524 meters, 30 miles south of the city of Guadalajara in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range. It is Mexico’s largest natural lake, measuring approximately 80 kilometers from east to west and 13 kilometers from north to south. Its northern shore contains most of the population, with the village of Ajijic as its true ‘heart’. At any given time, approximately 10,000 expatriates call the region home, along with 65,000 Mexican citizens who cheerfully act as their hosts.
It is said that the muse dances freely in Ajijic, hence the reason that artists, writers, actors and musicians – some even famous – have always flocked to the region. The village has long been bohemian in nature, with delightful celebratory noise a constant, and just enough juicy scandals to keep all hearts pumping. Writer’s groups abound, and Ajijic now hosts an annual writer’s conference, which is growing in both scope and attendance. More, the region is almost always hopping with live theater – especially at the Lakeside Little Theater’s beautiful complex – as well as musical performances ranging from stirring classical philharmonics to foot-stomping rock n roll groups to invigorating Mariachi, Banda and Rancho bands.
History of Ajijic
Nomadic people roamed throughout the lake region 10,000 to 12,000 years ago and recorded settlements occurred as early as 1300 A.D In 1522, the Spaniards arrived in Ajijic, just after Hernan Cortes conquered Mexico they soon began establishing haciendas, growing crops, raising livestock and fishing. Franciscan Missionaries eventually arrived. Roads were not built into Ajijic until the 1950s. Getting to Ajijic from Chapala or Guadalajara was either by boat or by donkey trail.
Ajijic boasts a lively shopping district, with fashion and jewelry boutiques and Mexican décor shops strung like pearls alongside its galleries. Its numerous brightly painted galleries – all unpretentious – dot the main thoroughfares, and art instruction is available from some of Mexico’s best native and expatriate artists. The Wednesday ‘tianguis’ (tee-ahn-gees) – a traveling food and dry goods market that happens 52 weeks a year, as well as prepared and organic food markets. There are locally owned supermarkets, numerous neighborhood tiendas, and even giants like Soriana’s and Wal-Mart.
The village enjoys a diverse culinary scene, too. Its local restaurants meet every taste from spicy street tacos to cozy Italian places that offer traditional recipes to Mexican-European fusion creations plated with panache. The village even boasts a terrific Japanese Sushi Bar, a Chinese restaurant, an Egyptian café, Argentinian steak house, Indian Bistro, French bakery and a place that satisfies your taste for Thai food. And if you are looking for some good old pub food you can find it at a number of bar and grills and brew houses in town.
Well, you will have to decide for yourself. They say there’s no other place like Ajijic and when you visit, you will understand what that means. It’s best to settle in for a while, to catch Ajijic’s natural rhythms and discover your part in them. Numerous long-term rentals abound, as well as many fine local B & B’s and hotels. Ajijic is an exceptional choice for short or long-term property rentals in Mexico.
If you are not the open-minded type or do not handle change well you may want to reconsider the lifestyle in Ajijic. This is not the country we came from so we shouldn’t expect it to be like home. We need to remember we left our previous lifestyle for various reasons and we should embrace the culture and it’s people with a positive attitude as we are so fortunate to live in their village.
“Your source for information about Attractions and Things to Do in Ajijic, Mexico.“
Events and Holidays
February 5th - Constitution Day
Benito Juárez Birthday - 3rd Monday in March
Labor Day - May 1
Independence Day - September 16
Mother's Day - May 10th
Day of the Dead - November 2
Revolution Day - the third Monday in
November 12th - Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe Christmas Day - December 25